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Making Online Shopping Easier for Shoppers

In this article

This week, we are on the onset of major global shopping bonanzas such as Black Friday and Cyber Monday. Plenty of great deals await customers for many major brands and both online portals and conventional malls are gearing up for the huge spend by consumers. As we near the end of the year and are preparing for festive occasions like Christmas, brands are anticipating huge consumer expenditure generated through shopping.

In the past, traditional shopping belts in Orchard Rd used to be crowded to the brim filled with shoppers out in throngs to catch the Christmas lights as well as to shop for festive gifts during the holiday season. With the advent of ecommerce and online shopping, as well the restrictions brought about by the pandemic, this changed irrevocably. Most Singaporeans, especially the younger cohort were already shopping online before the pandemic. The pandemic accelerated the take-up rate among Singaporeans. Online shopping is now the norm among people who do not wish to brave the frenzied crowds in malls.

By 2023, e-commerce in Southeast Asia is expected to reach more than $100 billion. The penchant for online shopping in the region has expanded beyond the pandemic and is only set to grow further.

Therein, lies the question of how to make online shopping easier for shoppers?

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What do Customers Want?

Firstly, businesses have to ask this perennial question: “What do customers want?” Customers are the fundamental element of all businesses. Therefore, ensuring that businesses serve customers to the best of their ability for long-term customer retention is a crucial determinant for the success and longevity of a business. All businesses have to put customers first and do everything from start to finish to get this particular element right in terms of maximising customer experience and satisfaction through the product or service.

This simple yet significant aspect then makes the rest of the process a tad easier to navigate. Next, how can we make the experience of shopping easier for customers?

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Interface and Interactions

The prerequisite to online shopping is either a mobile device or a desktop. Businesses need to ensure that interfaces on mobile devices as well laptops provide a seamless shopping experience sans minimal hiccups. Making it easier for customers to navigate digitally on their mobile devices and desktop to browse and purchase items with little disruption goes a long way in enhancing customer experience and ensuring a repeat one.

Information should be laid out in a way that is fast to grasp and visually presenting. The less customers spend searching for important details on a website, the lesser the likelihood of them abandoning their shopping pursuits on that particular portal. The interactions users have with the website should be overwhelmingly positive for long-term customer retention and repeat sales.

Knowing one’s customers and the Significance of Personalisation

Simple things leave a lasting positive impression. We naturally gravitate towards things that are familiar and likeable. Likewise, if businesses make the effort of learning more about their customers, they can be successful in creating memorable shopping experiences for their target segmented group.

Personalisation enables businesses to do this where content on a portal is curated in accordance with the customer’s likes, dislikes, wants and needs, motivating customers to buy on the portal and become repeat customers. People are more likely to shop at places where they are treated well and the staff know them.

Amazon is a prime example of how personalisation, utilising machine learning can be used to recommend products to consumers and increase sales. Machine learning services such as Amazon Personalize, can also be used by businesses to learn more about their customers to derive product recommendations for users. With the advancement in data and automation, personalising content can be undertaken easily.

Businesses who do not personalise content tend to lose out in various ways, the foremost of which is crucial data about their customers. Personalisation is an important aspect of contemporary e-commerce which allows businesses to make data-driven decisions enabling them to utilise resources strategically and saving on costs.

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Payment is a breeze

After browsing and finally deciding to purchase something online, the last thing any prospective customer needs is a glitch in the payment process. This can be in the form of a complicated payment scheme or simply too many steps to follow through in payment or being stuck in the process unable to move forward.

Another point to take note of is the issue of payment methods. Cash is being used less in present times and is fast becoming replaced by mobile wallets and newer payment methods. By 2025, the use of mobile wallets is forecast to reach 4.8billion.

Providing more options for payments in the form of a variety of mobile wallets will be in the best interest of businesses, especially when catering to the next generation of consumers who overwhelmingly use digital payments for online transitions. Businesses can adopt systems that can be easily integrated into their own enterprise infrastructure to facilitate easy and agile digital payments. Paypal and Google Wallet are some popular modes of digital payments.

Businesses should also ensure that their portals can function smoothly without any technical glitches especially during major retail events which brings about increased traffic to a site potentially causing a crash. The more time people spend trying to pay for their purchases, the greater the chance of them abandoning their finds and leaving the site due to frustration. Therefore, making paying simpler for customers must be taken into consideration.

Make it Easier either from one’s Bedroom or out in the Mall

Retail is a cornerstone of the economy. Apart from creating on our own, more often than not, we have to purchase something in the shops or online for our needs and wants. Businesses serve an important purpose both for communities and for commerce. The key to a successful amalgamation of commerce and communities is when businesses place the emphasis on people, their customers. Making the process of buying, shopping easier for customers is an important part of this process, be it in the comfort of one’s bedroom or out in shops.